Ensure re-development, beautification of Chandni Chowk is maintained: HC to Delhi govt

The Delhi High Court has asked the city government to ensure that the re-development and beautification work carried out at Chandni Chowk is maintained and continued.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, in an order released on Thursday, said the market was re-developed for the betterment of the traders association as well, and therefore they also owed some social responsibility towards it.

The court’s observation came while closing the proceedings on a public interest litigation (PIL) registered by it on its own with respect to the re-development of Chandni Chowk.

In view of the various steps taken by the authorities, including installation of boom-barriers at the street junctions and CCTV cameras, the court said there was no reason to continue with the PIL.

“However, the state government is requested to ensure that the redevelopment work which has been carried out are continued and maintained,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Tushar Rao Gedela, in an order dated November 8.

The court said the traders were expected to assist the authorities, adding that they were free to devise a formula for managing the boom barriers by employing their own people in consultation with the Delhi Police.

“The traders association, who is the intervenor, also owes some social responsibility as the area is being developed for their welfare too…It is expected that the traders associations will take up the responsibility and come forward to assist the authorities in this endeavour,” it said.

With respect to the steps taken by the police, the court noted that an appropriate action was taken against unauthorised hawkers, squatters and encroachers.

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It also noted that cameras were installed by the PWD on the main Chandni Chowk stretch, i.e., from the Red Fort to Fatehpuri to monitor “no entry violation”, which led to collection of more Rs 19 lakh as fine last year.

The court was also informed that adequate staff was deployed at the Red Fort Chowk to facilitate the pedestrians to cross the road and also to guide them for using the subway and to stop the entries of motor vehicles in the area.

It also took on record the government lawyer’s statement that it was the duty of the government, the MCD and other authorities to ensure that the re-development and beautification of Chandni Chowk, which has been brought back to its past glory with the efforts of all the parties concerned, remains intact.

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